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Voices College-Bound Language Academy Franklin McKinley

October 2020 - May 2021
Opportunity X representatives: Pujita Tangirala, Sneha Revanur, Anushka Kesavan
Sponsoring Teacher: Rodrigo Soto

Semester 2

Week 1 - Rate of Dissolving

Students explored the concept of surface area and chemical reactions through this project. By dropping alka seltzer tablets in water both as whole, half, and crushed, the students were able to see which tablet dissolved the fastest. Students also learned about the scientific method.

Week 2 - Potato Battery

Students learned about series and parallel circuits as well as Ohm’s law through this experiment. By using wires to connect an LED to a potato, students were able to make the LED light up! Students also learned how to write an effective research question.

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Week 3 - Archimedes Squeeze

Students explored the concepts of buoyancy, density, mass, and volume. By compressing aluminum foil balls to different diameters, they were able to see how to make the ball float and sink. Students also learned how to research scientific principles.

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Week 4 - pH testing

Students learned about acids and bases. By measuring different liquids on the pH scale, they were able to test their hypotheses. Students also learned about independent and dependent variables.

Week 5 - Elephant Toothpaste

Students learned about chemical reactions through a fun demonstration: a mixture of yeast, hydrogen peroxide, and soap that produced a small explosion. Students also learned how to write a hypothesis.

Week 6 - Straw Rockets

Students explored concepts of aerodynamics and air pressure. By experimenting with different sized straws, students learned about thrust, drag, lift, and push. They also learned how to write out an effective procedure. This week, students also chose their projects for the Opportunity X Science Fair and began working on them.

Week 7 - Fingerprint Analysis

Students analyzed patterns in their fingerprints and compared it with their peers. They also learned about how to collect data and the difference between quantitative and qualitative data.

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Week 8 - Pepper’s Ghost Illusion

Students made their own hologram using principles of reflection and light. 

Week 9 - Spectroscope

Students learned how astronomers analyze light. Using a diffraction grating, they were able to see a continuous spectrum from a light source. 

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Week 10 -Membranophone

Students learned about wavelength, amplitude, and frequency by making their own musical instrument out of a glove, straw, water bottle, and rubber bands. 

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Semester 1

10/9/2020 Materials Distribution

Around 15 material kits were put together and dropped off at Voices by Pujita. Mr. Soto distributed these kits to the students.


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10/11/2020 Invisible Ink

This week, students learned about atoms and molecules, as well as subatomic particles like protons, electrons, and neutrons. They applied this knowledge to the periodic table, discussing things like elements and ions. Lastly, we talked about pH and oxidation. Students then applied these concepts by using lemon juice as invisible ink and then bringing the paper to a heat source. The parts of the paper with invisible ink turned brown first, demonstrating oxidation caused by this acidic pH of lemon.

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10/18/2020 Skittles Chromotography

This week, students learned about molecules, electric charge, and polarity. They used the dye in skittles to explore the concepts of cohesion and adhesion. Using chromatography, they observed how dye traveled up the paper, and compared how each dye traveled a different distance along the paper.


10/25/2020 Dancing Ghosts

This week, students learned about static electricity and the charges of atoms. They were able to demonstrate this by creating “dancing ghosts”. Students cut out tissue paper and used the power of static electricity to connect the positively charged paper to a negatively charged balloon automatically.

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11/01/2020 Catapult

This week, students were introduced to the concept of engineering: a process that involves planning, designing, and building a solution to a problem. Given a limited amount of materials, students were expected to build a device that could launch an aluminum foil ball at a target. Students made their own personalized catapults and slingshots with their creativity.

11/08/2020 Balloon in a Bottle

This week, students learned about air pressure. By poking a hole in a water bottle, they were able to observe how air pressure can keep a balloon inflated even when it is not tied up! They also were able to inflate the balloon by deflating the bottle.

11/15/2020 Spinning Penny

This week, students learned about Newton’s First Law of Motion. By spinning a penny in a balloon, they were able to see how the inertia of the penny allowed it to keep moving even when the balloon stopped spinning. They also observed how gravity and friction brought the penny to rest.

11/22/2020 Optical Illusions

This week,  the students also learned about how neurons at the back of our eyes transmit information to our brain, and sometimes, this information is incorrect. Additionally, students learned about what optical illusions are, and why we are able to see optical illusions. They were able to put this in action by cutting out two squares of the same size, and drawing one part of a picture on one square, and the other part of the picture on the other square. After that, they put a pencil in between the two squares, and tapes the pencil to both the squares. Then, they spun the pencil as fast as they could and they witnessed both parts of the picture appearing as one.

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12/06/2020 Non-Newtonian Fluids

This week, students learned about Newton’s law of viscosity and how it applies to certain objects. They observed how Newton’s law of viscosity was not present in our experiment. Students used cornstarch and water to create a substance that looked like a liquid, but acted as a solid.

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12/13/2020 Kaleidescope

This week, the students learned about reflection and how the number and angles of mirrors impact how we see these reflections. They also learned about the two important laws of reflection. By creating a triangular kaleidoscope using cardboard and reflective beads, they were able to observe colorful reflections! The scientific principles that the students learned were applied in real life through discussions about reflective materials.

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